Tutor Sandra Clifton Reviews Bully

Attending the complimentary viewing of BULLY at the Angelika last weekend was an amazing experience, as the director visited with us after the film.  He is pictured here with two of the young people featured in the movie, which is an encouraging vision of their path since this moving journey:  http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/on-bullying-resources-and-questions-for-writing-or-discussion/

When I was exiting the theater, the crew wanted to interview me, and I found myself saying something interesting, and here’s a paraphrased overview of my thoughts:

You know, this was a powerful film, but it places the focus on children changing their behavior….But adults have to set the tone.  I’m an educator who was actually the recipient of hate mail by other teachers and the target of gossip by the faculty–and my students knew it.  One of the rumors started was that I was gay because I hadn’t gotten married by the age of 24 in this small Midwestern town.  We as adults need to set the tone for kindness and compassion, because our kids see and notice everything….And it starts from the top-down….Students observe injustice and take notes:  how do we allow Congress to fund wars but tell kids not to be violent on the playground?  BULLY is an important movie…but it’s just the beginning of the discussion….

May we each consider practicing peace in our little corner of the world and nurturing beauty…instead of fueling our inner-bully.

Sandra Clifton, M.Ed., PCC
Social & Emotional Learning Consultant

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